Schneider's attempts, and some would argue his successes, in that quest have now been compiled for the 16-track best-of collection #1 Hits Explosion due on Yep Roc September 1st, 2009.
Citing Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys as their root text a decade before it was indie-en vogue, Robert and former and future band members Hilarie Sidney, Jim McIntyre, Chris Parfitt, John Hill, Eric Allen, Chris McDuffie, Bill Doss, John Ferguson, John Dufilho, along with countless friends and cohorts, used their basement-D.I.Y. beginnings as a launching pad into a kaleidoscopic galaxy of sound.
Constantly mutating from debut album Fun Trick Noisemaker through recent opus New Magnetic Wonder, that galaxy has expanded from 4-track recordings made in Robert's bedroom to 100-track sonic experiments complete with new musical scales. The collection will look back at six albums of Apples material, highlighting 16 of the most well-known tracks of their already classic output.
"We have always pursued new sounds and different directions, trying to make something special," says Schneider. "There is no better way to have a band."
Through his songwriting and playing with The Apples, his influential production work for other Elephant 6 bands (Neutral Milk Hotel, The Olivia Tremor Control) and his many side projects (Marbles, Thee American Revolution, Ulysses), Schneider has been long respected as an architect of modern indie-pop. In recent years he has performed in feature films (Mike Myers' The Love Guru) and on the Colbert Report ('Stephen, Stephen'). He's given lectures at prestigious Mathematical Association of America conferences, had his songs interpreted on American Idol ('Energy'), and completed a children's album (Robbert Bobbert & the Bubble Machine), all amid touring with The Apples and writing and recording new material. All of these extra-curricular activities have enabled Robert to bring the Elephant 6 'create-anything you can, any way-you-can' ethos into the eye-line of popular consciousness and the mass media, yet #1 Hits Explosion marks the beginning in a new phase of focus on The Apples culminating in a new album in 2010. According to Schneider, "We are currently working on an album of soul music, filtered through a UFO."